Two-thirds of Nazareth Academy's softball practices are focused on hitting, assistant coach Ray Keough said.
But lately, the Pandas have been fine-tuning their defense, he said, and on Thursday it showed as they used a series of great catches to edge Bethlehem Catholic, 2-1, in the PIAA Class AAA state quarterfinals at Fleetwood.
The win sends Nazareth to its first state semifinal.
Sophomore centerfielder Tamara Jennings ended the fourth inning with an over-the-shoulder grab with her back to the infield. The catch stranded a pair of Bethlehem Catholic runners. Jennings also went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and a walk.